How to Get Ahead of the Game Over Winter Break
This blog is written by Colby Ann, our Campus Ambassador for Pace University at the Westchester Campus. She is a Junior majoring in Communications and minoring in Political Science. She is very involved with her campus and community and has had several internships.
For the average college student winter break is the 4 weeks where you can do absolutely nothing- and get away with it. But for the not so average college student (*cough, cough* overachieving Intern Queen lovers) it is the time where instead of obsessing over schoolwork and extracurricular activities, you can take some time and focus on planning for your next internship.
Winter break is the perfect time to start researching the companies you might be interested in and polishing up those resumes and cover letters. Most internships start accepting applications in February and March so it’s a good idea to get all of it over with before you get back to school, and become consumed with your other work.
Now don’t get me wrong, its important to give yourself some ‘R and R’ during the holidays. It’s totally healthy (and much needed) to spend a few days on the couch watching TV and eating all the candy you got in your stocking.
But by January 1st, there’s a good chance you will start itching to actually do something. What I find works is that on New Years Day you make your action list. This list should consist of places you want to intern, what you need in order to apply for each internship, and the due date on their applications.
When choosing which internships to apply for, its okay to go and apply for the one which may be out of your comfort zone, or one where you’re not 100% sure you’re qualified for. By taking a chance on your dream internship, it might be your big break.
It’s also important to do your research. While browsing InternQueen.com and other websites to find an internship, make sure you’re taking notes on the company and learning about them. Quite often students will find that the day before their interview they begin to realize that they don’t know enough about the company they applied for. Save yourself the panic attack, and use this opportunity and time to learn a little more about where you’re applying to.
When applying to internships, it may say that March 31st is their deadline for applications, but don’t wait until then to send yours in. It’s better to have your application in 2 months early than 2 days early. If you apply early enough, it’ll give you time to re-apply or to call them and make sure they received your application and cover letter. It’s important to be persistent with your application and send follow-ups; you want it to be easier for them to hire you, then for them to keep saying no.
With this list you will be able to start effectively tackling applications and organize your thoughts for what your plans for the summer will be. Remember, the more work you do during winter break the more relaxing you’ll get to do during your semester. Happy holidays everyone!